There is a new war a-brewing in the crazy world of Latinoland. And it involves one X, but no sex.
It’s about the word “Latinx,” a term to include all Latinos and Latinas without the male-dominant bias implied in the generic plural “Latinos.”
I get it, and I’m all for looking for ways to destroy the unnecessary patriarchal legacy in our culture.
But unless you really need a specific term like that because you are a double minority, like trans Latinas/os, it’s probably not going to work.
Why, you ask?
Bxcxsx xt’s txx cxmplxcxtxd. Wx nxxd x dxffxrxnt txrm, pxrhxps…
But perhaps also because this debate seems to make people stupider.
Like Gilbert Guerra and Gilbert Orbea (what are the odds, right?), who recently wrote a column titled “The argument against the use of the term ‘Latinx’ ” in The Phoenix, a publication of Swarthmore College.
Wrote the Gilberts:
What then, is the solution if not “Latinx”? It may surprise you to learn that a gender-neutral term to describe the Latin-American community already exists in Spanish. Ready for it? Here it is: Latino. Gender in Spanish and gender in English are two different things. Even inanimate objects are given gendered -o/s and -a/s endings, although it is inherently understood that these objects are not tied to the genders assigned to them. In Spanish, when referencing groups, we only use the feminine ending when referring to an exclusively female group.
Get it? We don’t need another term than “Latinos” to refer to men and women, because that masculine-sounding noun already did all the hard work of including all the women. Probably because a bunch of smart men invented this perfect language back in the day.
Seriously, the impulse behind “Latinx” is a nice one, but that X won’t cut it (or educate the Gilberts).
In general, I think Militant Angeleno has a point here:
@laloalcaraz Do Latin/x people listen to Skrill/x?
— Militant Angeleno (@militantangleno) November 13, 2015